Preface: This was written one week before the 2020 U.S. presidential elections. There was a long discussion last night among friends of various possible outcomes, including ones with dire consequences. I wrote the following to see just how the worst-case scenario could possibly play out.
Biden wins the election by a landslide. The Senate flips to the Democrats. Trump, however, does not concede and claims voter fraud. Protests erupt across the country both from those who want Trump and Republicans out and from those who support the voter fraud theory and believe Trump and Republicans should remain in power. Both Biden and Trump race to pursue their agendas in the courts.
In the meantime, peaceful protests quickly turn violent. Who instigates that violence is irrelevant. Trump declares a state of emergency, invokes martial law, and calls in the National Guard and the military to bring peace to the streets of America. Trump temporarily suspends the writ of habeas corpus which he is permitted to do under the Constitution in cases where public safety requires it. The Senate, still Republican-controlled during what should have been their last remaining days in the majority during a lame-duck session, sees an opportunity and allows this to happen.
The streets are safer now that the military is patrolling the streets. Mass arrests take place across cities and large containment camps are constructed to house all of these “criminals.” After all, these cities were on the verge of burning to the ground and we needed to ensure the safety and security of Americans. The arrests, though, seem to be focused on Democratic regions of the country, mostly the larger cities who have been predominantly voting Democrat in the past few decades. Bands of armed white supremacists roam Michigan and other states terrorizing minorities and those opposed to Trump. Those armed white supremacists seem to be able to operate with impunity.
Antifa and the Radical Left are declared terrorist organizations. Anyone thought to be connected to either of these “organizations” are immediately arrested. The safety and well-being of Americans are at stake after all. No one is immune from these arrests as domestic terrorists are a danger to everyone. We start to see disappearances of several prominent and outspoken critics of the Trump administration, even those holding elected office.
Those arrested find themselves in camps waiting for their day in court. They continue to wait and wait for that day and are not given an idea of when it may come. They are also not explicitly told why they have been arrested or what charges have been brought forward. There is no recourse since the writ of habeas corpus was suspended. Due process has been suspended.
The Department of Justice has been rendered impotent since Attorney General William Barr chooses not to pursue any actions that goes against Trump’s desires (or he risks arrest himself). The courts are rendered powerless as well with the suspension of habeas corpus.
The government seizes the assets of the New York Times and the Washington Post due to their perceived connections with the Radical Left terrorist organization. Production is shut down and journalists are arrested. Free speech protections do not apply to terrorists or those seeking to destroy the country. Stories about the tens of thousands arrested without charge dry up as news organizations either fall in line with ensuring the safety and security of the country or are shut down by the government.
Trump uses emergency powers to seize more assets of his enemies who he states are a threat to the country. He claims those assets were to be used to fund domestic terrorism. These assets are then redistributed to supporters of the administration who have long suffered under unfair treatment under past administrations. Those newly enriched individuals and organizations form a loud and vocal based of support for the Trump administration. Business is booming, at least for those who support the administration.
Senator Susan Collins is the first elected Republican arrested. It seems Trump was not happy with her show of disobedience when she voted against Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. While things have been going well for the Republicans up to this point as their political rivals are eliminated, they begin to wonder whether things are headed in the right direction. And how long are these “temporary” powers going to last? Those that begin to speak up find themselves quietly arrested and removed. Those remaining quickly fall in line.
Trump decides, for the safety and well-being of all Americans, he should remain in power indefinitely. The Senate, now 90% Republican due to sweeping arrests of the “terrorist element” that had infiltrated even this highest governing body, quickly votes to amend the Constitution to remove term limits for the President. They also decide that the country would be best served with a single-party system, not the antiquated two-party system that is the cause of all the recent turmoil. Other changes to election laws are put in place to guarantee Trump’s rule indefinitely.
That is how Democracy in America ended. And those lawsuits Biden filed at the beginning of all this? Still sitting in the lower courts awaiting a date to be heard.